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Good health for nation, planet priceless

A healthy planet. Healthy individuals. What more can we want?

According to The Weather Channel, the 2017 hurricane season is among the top 10 most active on record.

An Oct. 6 article on www.witn.com goes on to say: “Scientists say that over time, water in the Atlantic changes. Waters are warmer than they were 30 years ago, according (to) scientists, and warm waters fuel hurricanes. Scientists go on to say that while some of this is natural, some of this is man-made. As the world gets warmer, more intense storms are likely to form more often.” Don’t take one website’s word for it. Search further.

We can’t control Mother Nature, but we can support research and job creation in weather investigation and analysis. A new bill, H.R.353 — the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 — became law April 18 and could be a step forward in finding answers regarding weather conditions and mitigation efforts before they happen.

What’s our role in implementing new research? We can support candidates committed to research and job creation in this area and many others, like medical research, and have discussions with business leaders and educators to force the issues. What else can we do?

Let’s consider the connection between our planet’s health and the health of individuals.

In an article on The Washington Post, American Public Health Association Executive Director Georges Benjamin said, “We’re committed to making sure the nation knows about the effects of climate change on health. If anyone doesn’t think this is a severe problem, they are fooling themselves.”

There are facts from scientists and professionals on the issues of climate change and health. There is also data showing that facts do not necessarily change opinions.

Here’s a piece from Psychology Today, from July 13, 2010: “Okay, but why do we cling to our views so tenaciously after they are formed? Interesting clues come from two areas of study … self-affirmation and cultural cognition. Both areas suggest that we cling to our views because the walls of our opinions are like battlements that keep the good guys inside (us) safe from the enemy without (all those dopes with different opinions than ours). Quite literally, our views and opinions may help protect us, keep us safe, literally help us survive. Small wonder then that we fight so hard to keep those walls strong and tall.”

So ask yourself how you feel. You are healthy — no serious illness. You feel good about yourself and have a positive self-image. Data suggests if you feel good about yourself, you are more open to facts and changing your opinions. And we’re not even talking about the fact that you can enjoy yourself, hold a job, be productive and contribute to the welfare of society.

Everyone deserves to be healthy. Are you with me? I don’t know anyone who likes to suffer or see pain. Do you? Pain and poor health are counterproductive to a good life for all, not merely some. It follows that we need healthy people to sustain a healthy society, a great America. But, boy oh boy, can we argue about health care and a healthy planet in this country.

If everyone wants to be healthy and nobody wants to suffer or see others suffer, perhaps we might want to invest in keeping everyone healthy and learning how to cure illnesses and diseases. That might just create new jobs and keep lots of folks “on the job.” Research opportunities might just give the economy “a shot in the arm” as well. Raise your hand if you want to cure cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

If everyone is having a good, healthful day, priorities and opinions might shift ever so slightly where it dawns on the country, as individuals, that human life is priceless. There will be a conversation and action about a healthy planet and healthy individuals and how we provide for both. All other expenditures are meaningless. A healthy planet and health care for all Americans is priceless.

You know where your tax money goes. You read every day of the excesses of politicians using your money. If they don’t protect the planet’s health and provide health care for all, they are useless.

Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She can be reached at roseannrab@hotmail.com or at 702-339-9082.

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